Pakistani Stage Theatres closed due to ‘Obscene Dancing’

The Punjab government has launched a crackdown on stage theatres in Pakistan to eliminate obscene dancing.

Pakistani Stage Theatres closed due to 'Obscene Dancing' f

there was a responsibility to monitor stage dramas

The Government of Punjab has taken the step to seal all stage theatres in Lahore, Sheikhupura and Kasur.

The decision came after it was revealed Provincial Information Minister Amir Mir stated that vulgar dance performances had not been stopped.

He stated that any theatre that highlighted obscenity and nudity would be closed.

Mir stated: “A complete ban on all forms of commercial stage plays placed in Al-Hamra.

“However, commercial stage plays would continue in Al-Hamra Cultural Complex at Gaddafi Stadium under defined boundaries and regulations.”

He continued by saying that there was a responsibility to monitor stage dramas and that it was the job of the Arts Council to ensure there would be no dancing on stage.

The move comes after a raid was carried out at a theatre, stopping a show midway, and the theatre was sealed immediately.

As a result, stage dancers are banned from performing for up to 10 years and drama producers for life.

Legal action was taken against 14 actresses and they were served with show-cause notices, seeking written replies from them within seven days of the receipt of the notice as to why their performances should not be banned under the Dramatic Performances Act 1876.

The actresses include Shama Theatre’s Mehak Butt, Komal Chaudhry and Qismat Shahzadi; Tamaseel Theatre’s Nayab Khan, Sheela Chaudhry, Ayan Akhtar and Sonu Butt; Mehfil Theatre’s Khushboo Khan; Naz Theatre’s Roshani Khan, Kajal Chaudhry and Sara Khan; Alfalah Theatre’s Mahnoor and Jia Butt as well as Sitara Theatre’s Tabassum Khan.

It is said that commercial theatres are given approval for each non-dancing script, but the vulgar dance performances take place without warning, which is in violation of approval.

The dance performances are deemed vulgar due to the costumes and the dance steps, which usually consist of over-exaggerated hair flips and chest movements as well as the dancers slithering on the floor.

The dancers are then teased with wolf whistles and derogatory remarks by the male audience.

Stage shows are hugely popular in Pakistan and many of the shows take place late evening due to the sexual innuendos made in them.

The majority of the audience is male dominated as it is considered that the atmosphere is not suitable for women.

Although most of the dramas are scripted there are times when the actors improvise and add their own jokes to their script, most often, offensive and rude ones.

Popular stage shows include titles such as Baba Daang, Feeka In Amreeka, Siyane Bewaqoof and Roti Khol Dayo.

Sana is from a law background who's pursuing her love of writing. She likes reading, music, cooking and making her own jam. Her motto is: "Taking the second step is always less scarier than taking the first."

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